Pace Brantley Student Named Arts4All Student of the Month

(Tampa, FL) October 25, 2021
Arts4All is pleased to announce 16-year-old, Aidan Wilson, as one of their October 2021 Student of the
Month winners. Aidan was nominated by Deborah Knispel, Art Teacher at Pace Brantley School in
Longwood, Florida. She writes, “The arts have changed Aidan’s life by bringing him out of his shell and
giving him a laser focus. His self-confidence has grown tremendously.”


Aidan’s ingenuity and creativity impressed Arts4All Florida very much. This young artist works with
recycled materials to bring 3D works to life. Ms. Knispel described how “[Aidan] scours the recycling bin
for plastic bottles and containers, cardboard boxes and paper towel rolls and transforms them into
works of art.” His works include life-size recreations of popular media characters such as Forky from Toy
Story 4, Spongebob Squarepants, Charlie Brown, and even Scarecrow and Dorothy from The Wizard of
Oz. Aidan is not just a visual artist but a performer as well. According to Ms. Knispel, he has secured
roles in plays such as Elf, High School Musical, Shrek, Wizard of Oz and is auditioning for Willy Wonka
and the Chocolate Factory this year. He not only performs on stage but also helps build the set designs
with the stagecraft crew.

Beyond the arts, Aidan has recently been inducted to Pace Brantley School’s National Honor Society and
is a part of the Pace News Network. He is also Team Captain and the Food Bag Leader for Hearts, Hands,
and Hope, a local nonprofit dedicated to serving meals to Seminole County families in need. These feats,
as well as his artistic accomplishments, are even more remarkable when considering that “just a few
years ago, Aidan couldn’t read, communicate and was afraid to talk or engage with other people.” Ms.
Knispel explained that since Aidan started at Pace Brantley and embraced the arts, he has transformed
“from hiding and not engaging, to standing in front of hundreds of people on stage.” Aidan’s story is
emblematic of the transformative role the arts can play in the lives of neurodiverse students.

Arts4All Florida looks forward to recognizing Aidan in our newsletter, highlighting him on our website
and sending him a personalized trophy. The Arts4All Florida Student of the Month Program is designed
to increase public awareness and recognize the impact arts make on students with disabilities statewide.

Students who participate in the arts develop creativity, have increased self-confidence, understand
teamwork, have increased language and math skills and are generally more engaged. For more
information about the Student of the Month program and others, please visit

Arts4All Florida is partially funded by the State of Florida, Department of Education, Bureau of
Exceptional Student Education (BESE), through federal assistance under the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA), Part B.

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